It’s far enough into summer that you’ll already be used to the rise in the electric bills that always comes with running an air conditioning system in hot weather. If your bills have risen recently, or they simply seem higher than you expect them to be, there are a number of possibilities. One is that there are problems with the air conditioning system or the ventilation system. If you can’t match the increase in utility bills with an increased use of the air conditioner (for example, more people have been staying in your house and using the AC more frequently), then it’s a good idea to look into the HVAC system.
Some Possible HVAC Troubles Making Your AC Drain More Power
Here’s a short guide to some of the ways an air conditioner may start to become more costly to run:
- Age: This is the first factor to consider. How old is your current cooling system? If it’s more than 15 years old, it’s probably the ravages of aging that are causing the rise in cooling costs. Although repairs may help out, it’s usually a better idea to arrange for a system replacement.
- Clogged air filter: An air filter left in place for more than 3 months is almost definitely too congested to allow the air conditioner to run effectively. For some filters, even one month is too long.
- Leaks in the ducts: This is a common problem. Air leaks developing in ductwork can account for a 30% loss of the air moving through the ventilation system—and that adds up to plenty of extra work for the air conditioner trying to make up for that loss. This problem requires duct sealing from professionals to repair it.
- Motor troubles: If an air conditioning system doesn’t receive regular maintenance to clean and lubricate the motors, the motors will start to collect dust and dirt and wear down faster. The motors may be in danger of burning out completely, so make sure you have repair technicians look into the problem as soon as possible.
- Thermostat malfunction: It might seem strange that the thermostat could be the source of the trouble, but even a small miscalibration with its temperature sensor can cause the air conditioner to run longer than it should. In most cases, it’s better to have a new thermostat put in. (Make sure you leave this job to HVAC technicians, since an incorrect match of a thermostat with an AC can end up invalidating the air conditioner’s warranty.)
Please keep in mind that it’s often difficult to track down the specific reason an air conditioner is working harder than it should. As you can see from the list above, there are multiple possible causes, and only a trained HVAC specialist can zero in on what the actual issue is and what needs to be done to remedy it.
When you suspect you’ve got a faulty AC that’s running up your bills, just call on us for air conditioning repair in Eugene, OR. In some cases, we may recommend you have a new air conditioning system installation rather than continue with an AC that will rapidly run up repair bills.
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